Knowing what you will actually buy if you are shopping for a new car is a huge bonus. The more you can find the technical specs, examine the interior, or even take the vehicle out for a virtual walk-around, the better.
Even though I tested the 2021 Cadillac XT6 in the real-world for a week, I was impressed with the virtual and digital options for inspecting the vehicle.
For starters, an actual human being can do a walk-around virtual tour with you. It’s an awesome idea even now when the pandemic is finally mostly over (I think). The person who does the tour can’t see you but you can talk to them and ask questions.
The digital brochure is about the best I’ve seen. One thing that is cool about experiencing this when you have the actual vehicle in to test is that you can see how it actually helps. The digital brochure lets you “sample” all of the available interiors and see how they look. A 360-degree mode lets you move the camera around to envision what the XT6 looks like.
You can examine the three trim levels (luxury, premium luxury , and sport) with just a click, then compare trim levels side by side in a split-screen mode. The split screen “comes alive” though and you can move a slider to see the two trim levels. When you drag the slider, it reveals the trim level so you can see the differences.
I like how the tech specs are at the bottom of the digital brochure so you can really do a deep dive, but the real fun was in seeing the car in digital form and then taking it out for a spin.
My test car was the Sport Platinum version so it was easy to see how this higher-end model would compare to the look of the lower trim levels. (I have to say, there really isn’t a “lower” trim on this XT6 because even the base model looks elegant and elite.)
I am picturing how this might continue to evolve.
I know automakers experimented with virtual reality tours at one time, although those headsets don’t seem to be reaching the masses. Someday, I could see testing a car at home using a 3D display or a room in your house meant for immersive video (basically, virtual reality will become a room in our house at some point and we won’t need to wear the headset).
Until then, the online brochure is a great way to see what the car looks like, even if you can’t quite take it out on a test track yet.